Here it is, the first of the herb entries. I'm starting with aloe, as not much is growing in the garden and many of us have aloe growing inside the house.
Common domestic houseplant. The parts used are the bitter juice and gel. The gel inside the leaves is 'yin' for those of you interested in Chinese associations.
Aloe vera is commonly used externally for skin cancer, burns, and injuries. Internally, it is used as a laxative, but can cause serve intestinal pain (Rodale's Encyclopedia of Herbs recommends using it externally only). If you choose to experiment with taking your aloe houseplant internally, start with very small doses. You can buy aloe juice in health food stores and I would suggest springing for the highest quality.
Aloe is cold and bitter. It is associated with the liver, heart, and spleen. It can calm a fiery temper (Pitta temperament in Ayurveda). In sanskrit it is called 'kumari' which means 'goddess' and in Ayurvedic medicine aloe is an estrogenic herb. It regulates hormones and a teaspoon of aloe with tumeric should alleviate PMS symptoms as well as regulate liver functions. Aloe is enzyme promoting.
Dose: gel and liquid: 2 T three times a day
powder: 1/2 - 1 t.